The disgraceful neglect of the beautiful historic Royal George Hotel in East Fremantle continues, which is unacceptable.
Every now and then we get to hear that a developer is taking over the building, but then nothing happens and the graffiti and neglect goes on.
Member for Fremantle Simone McGurk was very outspoken when she was in opposition, so now that she is a Cabinet Minister she has to talk to her colleagues and do something about the unacceptable eyesore urgently.
Next to the old hotel the former Lauder&Howard building is being developed respectfully, so it’s time to walk the talk Labor government!
In a shock announcement City of Fremantle East Ward Councillor and Deputy Mayor Dave Coggin has resigned from council today.
Coggin has been offered a position as advisor to the new Premier of Western Australia Mark McGowan and that was obviously an offer too good to refuse.
Coggin had been a Freo Councillor for seven and a half years and was due for re-election in October.
Coggin’s last meeting he’ll attend at Fremantle Council will be April 25, a good opportunity to thank him.
I believe this is a sad day for Fremantle because Dave Coggin has been an excellent and balanced Councillor who was a member of the successful team that attracted massive development in the Freo CBD. A move that will see the transformation and revitalisation of the CBD and a return to a seven-day a week retail economy.
No doubt though it will be good to have someone with a real passion for and commitment to Fremantle in the Premier’s ear and Dave’s resignation from Council might benefit our city in the long run.
I have had the pleasure of many private meetings with Dave Coggin and have observed him at Council and have been very impressed with his tireless work for our community. I would like to thank him for that. The Freo community owes you gratitude, Dave. Good luck in the new position!
The announcement at a function on Friday night by new Western Australian Treasurer Ben Wyatt that the state government will not go ahead with the relocation of government departments because of the financial implications is very worrying for Fremantle and should send alarm bells ringing at the City of Fremantle.
Wyatt said that he had to make substantial savings to fix the budget and that the state unfortunately does not have the money for expensive relocations. The new government was in favour of the decentralisation of the workforce away from the Perth CBD but it would be better to reduce public servant staff numbers through early redundancy, increase efficiency and productivity, and reduce duplications of services, creating smaller offices, as the state could not afford the very costly relocation of departments in the near future because of the dire financial state of Western Australia.
The move of Department of Housing and other departments to Fremantle is essential for the success of the Fremantle Kings Square project and if this is cancelled or substantially delayed by the new Labor government it will have a huge negative impact for Fremantle.
The question is if Sirona Capital can afford to go ahead with the project if the lease with state government departments is ripped up, or could this be the end of Freo’s big dream of economic recovery through the biggest inner city project in many decades?
This is very worrying news at the start of the month where the demolition of the Queensgate building was due to start. I for one hope the exciting Kings Square project will progress as planned and that solutions will be found fast if Wyatt’s assertions are correct.
Many in the Fremantle community have questioned the need for a new expensive Civic Centre at Kings Square and no doubt they would be delighted if the project did not go ahead, but I believe it would be very disappointing if our city square is not modernised and activated.
If you are getting a bit tired of blaming Fremantle Council for everything that goes wrong, here is a new target.
This is the new Western Australian Mark McGowan Labor government for the next four years, so keep them on their toes and under scrutiny.
I wish the new Premier and Ministers all the best and don’t envy them their task of governing under extremely tight financial conditions.
May they make more good than bad decisions for our state. Good luck!
Simone McGurk the Labor member for Fremantle has been appointed by Premier Mark McGowan to become the Minister for Child Protection, Women’s Interests, Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence and Community Services.
That’s a lot of portfolios, so good luck Simone!
There is an interesting opinion piece in the West Australian today about the limitations of urban infill and the necessity of regional development.
Higher density in established suburbs and near railway stations and bus lines is not something that can go on indefinitely, so other alternatives need to be considered.
The WA state government has long been talking about decentralisation and to its credit has moved some departments out of the Perth CBD, but private businesses and large corporations still appear reluctant to open offices outside of Perth.
Most big law, mining and advertising companies are in Perth or West Perth and Fremantle has been struggling for decades to attract large companies to relocate here.
While it is good that Fremantle has so much residential, commercial and tourist development at the moment, there is only limited space in the inner city and we need to protect the unique character and heritage attraction of our city.
But decentralisation and city planning needs to become a much bigger picture than that even and fast rail transport to places like Northam, Albany, Bunbury and Geraldton should be considered.
Mining companies should start building permanent accommodation for their personnel in the Pilbara to decrease the high-polluting FIFO process and increase the regional population.
The Perth metropolitan urban sprawl needs to stop because it is not sustainable and too expensive, but filling up character older suburbs with ugly high concrete boxes is also not the solution.
What our politicians lack is big visionary thinking when it comes to planning the regional cities of the future. Planning is still far too much Perth-centric that will only worsen the traffic, public transport and environmental problems that are inevitable when too many people are squeezed into city living.
Innovative integrated regional development should be a priority for the new McGowan Labor government.
It’s W.A. Election Day!
There is an overkill of signs at all the polling boots around Fremantle. Volunteers from all parties were out all through the night to put them up, so good on them for their commitment.
Long queues already at the Beacy Primary School at 8 am and it’s going to be a warm day so enjoy the sausage sizzles and cake stalls.